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Capital Region Vo-Tec Students Excel At Hudson Valley

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, January 18, 2001

\"Image The longstanding relationship between Hudson Valley Community College and Capital Region Vo-Tec paid off at the recent ENYCAR (Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers) Regional High School Automotive Technology competition. A pair of students from Vo-Tec's Albany center – Dan Nardini and Travis St. Louis – formed the DeNooyer Chevrolet-sponsored team that captured first place in the eighth annual ENYCAR competition, which was held on Jan. 11 at Hudson Valley's state-of-the-art Automotive Lab (located in Cogan Hall).

"There's a pipeline between Capital Region Vo-Tec and Hudson Valley Community College," said Marian Barasch, department chairperson for the Automotive and Technologies department at Hudson Valley. "Each year, about 10 of the career and technical school's graduates enroll into one of Hudson Valley Community College's four automotive programs."

Nardini and St. Louis both attend Vo-Tec's Albany center and Scotia-Glenville High School. As a result of their victorious effort, Nardini and St. Louis earned technical college scholarships, scholarship money, cash prizes, trophies and a plaque. They also will travel to New York City in April to represent Eastern New York in the New York International Automobile Show.

The ENYCAR event, which featured 12 of the Capital Region's top automotive-oriented high school seniors, is a timed practical test that requires each two-student team to demonstrate diagnostic and repair skills on vehicles that have been rigged with mechanical problems. Contestants also must complete a written repair order.  Additionally, students are tested on their ability to use certain automotive equipment.

Mike Brown and Tarah Walsh, also of Capital Region Vo-Tec, finished second. Saturn of Albany sponsored them. Brown attends Schalmont High School and Walsh attends Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School.

"Dan, Travis, Mike and Tarah successfully put their education to the test at the ENYCAR competition," said Rich Bellizzi, their AYES instructor at Vo-Tec. "The automotive technology field offers young men and women many career opportunities in our region and beyond."

According to Ruth Truesdell, industry/education coordinator at Capital Region BOCES/Vo-Tec, "Collaboration of effort, sharing of resources and faculty expertise form the foundation of a solid partnership between Hudson Valley Community College and Capital Region Vo-Tec, with students being the beneficiaries."

"Three of the four winning Capital Region Vo-Tec students are planning to attend Hudson Valley Community College," said Barasch, referring to Nardini, Brown and Walsh. "We have Capital Region Vo-Tec graduates here now, and we know what kind of students they are. They come in with a good foundation. Obviously, judging by how well they performed at the ENYCAR competition, they know automobiles."

Hudson Valley offers the following automotive programs: Automotive Technical Services; Autobody Repair; Automotive Technical Services-DaimlerChrysler; and Automotive Technical Services-General Motors. Combined, these programs typically draw about 200 students per year, and the job placement rate for graduates approaches 100 percent. In fact, students entering the DaimlerChrysler and General Motors curriculums must be sponsored by a dealership, and there is a potential for permanent employment upon graduation.

The Albany Vo-Tec center is a vocational-technical school operated by Capital Region BOCES. It offers both high school and adult students more than 30 educational programs. Students also can earn college credits while studying at Capital Region Vo-Tec. Those students enrolled in Capital Region Vo-Tec's AYES Automotive Technician program, which is supported by General Motors and Chrysler, can take Hudson Valley's Engines and Fuels classes, earning as many as 10 college credits before they ever set foot on a college campus.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.